Yesterday’s oversight hearing on "Iran Sanctions and Regional Security" by the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia was an important opportunity to gather information and opinions regarding the potential dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran. We wanted to assess the effectiveness of current and future sanctions as well as continue to gather information on the impact a nuclear Iran would have on regional security.

Despite Iranian claims of peaceful intentions, we are receiving reports that they are attempting to develop nuclear fuel at a rate that could produce enough highly-enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. The threat of sanctions, a set of United Nations resolutions, and the offer of multilateral talks, have not had the overwhelming effect of deterring Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology. Iran has been defiant in the face of international pressure while continuing to make outrageous and incendiary claims regarding the destruction of Israel.

We can all agree that an Iran armed with nuclear weapons poses the gravest of threats to the security of the region as well as a potential threat to the United States and our allies around the world. This would be a tremendous destabilizing force in a part of the world that is already suffering from immense strife. Iran’s support of terrorist organizations represents an additional risk, because there is a very real possibility that Iranian leaders or members of the Iranian military would share their nuclear technology with unconventional enemies.

The reports and suggestions offered by yesterday's witnesses put many of our concerns into perspective. I look forward to a continued dialogue both here in Congress and between the State Department and our allies around the world. I am cautiously hopeful that diplomacy will prevail.